Welcome to 2016

I don’t know about you but 2015 seems to have flown by.  Projects that were planned for the year got pushed to one side as something else barged in.  Some of that came from my ‘beejaytellingstories’ blog sort of demanding priority!  I have repremanded myself for that.  The other ‘excuse’ was that I was developing another writing project.  That is still in the ‘work in progress’ slot.

I have downloaded the stats that WordPress provides at the end of the year.  They tell me that ‘hits’ came from 81 different counties during the year.  Logically, however, most hits came from the UK but Brazil and the USA were not far behind.


So let’s start as we belong to carry on by looking at some historic thoughts about this day – THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR.
The early Christian Church celebrated this 1st day of January as the feast of the Circumcision of Christ – eight days after his birth – although it did not become widely observed until the 11th century.  Celebrations of the new year would take place on the 25th March – the date of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day.  These beliefs and recognitions remain but January 1st now rules world-wide as the time to celebrate a New Year.  Let’s have a glance at Britain and the 1st January as seen by various individuals.

The poet William Godwin [1756-1836] writes in his poem ‘The Miner’s Dream of Home’:
The log was burning brightly,
‘Twas a night that should banish all sin,
For the bells were ringing the Old Year out,
And the New Year in.

In the Middle Ages of Britain’s history there was no single day for the celebration of Christmas or the New Year – the period was 12 days from December 25th through to January 6th. In England this lasted right through until the middle of the 17th century – c1650 – when the Puritain government outlawed it, and all other religious festivals.

At much the same time – 1st January 1662 to be precise – Samuel Pepys writes in his diary: ‘Waking this morning out of my sleep on a sudden, I did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose, which waked her with pain, at which I was sorry, and then to sleep again’.

Not the best way to start the New Year!

Welcome to this year’s stories – I hope you enjoy them.

Brian J


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